Russia Doesn’t Need Our Business

It is making more on oil and gas now than before the Ukraine war.

Russia is earning more money on oil and gas exports than last year, even with a decreased volume of sales. So far in 2022, Russia has earned an average of $20 billion per month, compared with the 2021 average of $14.6 billion—despite exports being three quarters of last year’s volumes. Data from the International Energy Agency (iea) oil market reports show that this July, Russia exported 7.4 million barrels per day on average compared to 9.6 million last July. In the first 100 days after the invasion of Ukraine, Russia earned $93.4 billion from oil and gas exports alone, according to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

In Europe, about 40 percent of natural gas normally comes from Russia. But European nations have worked to boycott Russian gas to punish it for the war. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in response to sanctions, has halved the flow of oil to Europe.

On March 8, Joe Biden signed an executive order “to ban the import of Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal to the United States,” claiming it was “a significant action with widespread bipartisan support that will further deprive President Putin of the economic resources he uses to continue his needless war of choice.”

Yet it appears Russia doesn’t need our business. “Russia is swimming in cash,” said Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance. The exorbitant cost of oil and gas has enabled Russia to increase profit even while selling less.

So what happened to the West’s plan to make Russia “a global economic and financial pariah,” as the White House said in March?

“There came a realization that the world needs oil, and nobody’s brave enough to embargo 7.5 million barrels a day of Russian oil and oil products,” said Sergey Vakulenko, an analyst and former Russian energy executive. Despite efforts to diversify energy sourcing, Europe remains dependent on Russia for natural gas. Efforts to boycott purchases of Russian energy come with serious economic consequences, which means, in some ways, Russia has the upper hand.

To offset decreased energy demand from Western nations, Russia has found new markets for its oil and gas, providing a boost in revenue. An Afghan official told Reuters on August 29 that the Taliban is close to signing a contract with Russia to purchase gasoline and benzene, even though they are not officially recognized by any government. From April to June, Saudi Arabia purchased more than twice as much oil from Russia as in the first three months of the year. The Saudi government has ignored requests to export more oil to alleviate the huge demand. High prices benefit the Saudis as much as they benefit Russia. As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in 2017: “Putin has pushed America out of the Middle East. Russia is now the only global power really impacting that region.”

In addition, China and India are now buying almost twice as much Russian crude oil as last year.

So while the United States and many European nations are “working together to reduce our collective dependence on Russian energy and keep the pressure mounting on Putin,” countries in the Middle East and Asia are strengthening their bonds with Russia, undermining the West’s efforts to handicap Putin.

What we are watching unfold is unsurprising to longtime Trumpet readers. For decades, we have said that Russia, China and other Asian nations will form an alliance known as “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). Other verses show that the “prince of Russia” will lead this powerful bloc of nations (Ezekiel 38:2).

The Plain Truth, predecessor to the Trumpet, wrote over 60 years ago:

Russia’s program is not to take Europe and to attack the United States, first. [It] calls first for the seizure of Asia. Lenin wrote that the way to Paris, London and New York is via [Beijing] and Delhi! … [China’s] constant dream for centuries has been ultimate world conquest! … China knows, however, that in this highly industrialized age she can accomplish this dream only as an ally of Russia. … [Russian leaders] will ultimately control not only the Russian states, but China … and India as well!

Keep watching Russia and the world’s response to its actions. Every development brings us closer to the fulfillment of these Bible prophecies. To understand more, request our free booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ by Gerald Flurry.